Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Fest 2014 - meet the winners

The Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Fest 2014 set out to find the hottest food startups operating in the UK right now and we were completely blown away.

We know entrepreneurship is booming in the UK but this competition proves that food startups are providing the fuel for this explosion of creativity. We were inundated with top quality entries from street food stalls, restuarants and innovative products that are all looking to disrupt and improve the way we eat.

After hundreds of applications, thousands of tweets and days of judging we managed to settle on eight finalists who were invited to pitch their businesses to Sir Richard Branson and his panel of judges including, Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, founders of Hemsley+Hemsley, Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen and Mina Holland, editor of the Guardian Cook magazine

Watch the eight finalists pitch here: -

The Winners revealed

Tastiest Startup Award – Killer Tomato


Changing the perception of vegetarian food with his meat free Mexican food that packs a punch, Matt Paice, scooped the Tastiest startup award for his street food startup, Killer Tomato.

Best healthy food business – Sweet Virtues


Healthy chocolate. It sounds too good to be true, right? Carey Davis-Munro is changing the game with her Truffles that come loaded with five super fruits in each one, including chia seeds, maca, lacuma and ginseng – plus high-quality dark chocolate packed with antioxidants.

Most exciting new brand – Proper Beans


Proper Beans founder, Ben Mason, is disrupting the traditional baked bean scene and is looking to grab a market share from corporate giant Heinz. His business Proper Beans is a premium baked bean brand, a true underdog and a worthy winner. Proper Beans also took home the People Choice Award and a £1,000 cheque.

Most Loved Kid’s food – Sweetpea Pantry


Capturing the imagination of children and teaching them about baking with healthy ingredients, SweetPea Pantry founders Philippa Askham and Tanya Mitchell bagged the, Most Loved Kids Food award for their baking kits which include ingredients such as quinoa, oats and flax.

Each of the four winners will receive a startup mentoring packaging offering support and consultancy including:

1. Access to legal support from Nabarro, a leading law firm which has a particular focus on giving advice to entrepreneurs and start-ups.

2. Access to brand support, from world-renowned branding agency, Elmwood.

3. Access to buyers with group training followed by individual pitches to multiple buyers at Ocado.